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To Uber Man
by Branden Hart
Dear No mercy in searcy,
Unfortunately, I don't feel I can give any specific advice on this question, since I don't know your two friends. However, I can offer you a little fable that may help you understand what a difficult task bringing two people together can be, depending on the situation. You see, for weeks, the animals in Deep Forest had been facing a very serious problem. Bill and Brian Buffalo, the brothers who ran the local liquor store, which was always stocked with the finest berry wine, were in the midst of a deep, troubling argument, and had closed the store indefinitely. The animals missed their berry wine something fierce, and several of them were experiencing significant withdrawal. Why, Dr. Fox had to put Skunk on a steady diet of benzodiazepines to keep him from dying due to withdrawal, and a large prescription of naltrexone to make him throw up if he tried to drink something with alcohol, like paint thinner. One day, Bird called a meeting of all the animals in Deep Forest to talk about what could be done to help the two brothers reconcile and bring back the booze.
"We should just break in there ourselves, take everything we want--even not pay for it!" yelled Terry Turtle. "They have caused enough problems for us--we deserve some compensation."
There was a resounding "Hear hear!" from the rest of the animals.
"Ah," said Bird, quieting the crowd, "but Terry, if we were animals that behaved that way, we would have all broken into your pet store when you had to close it down, and taken all the supplies we could ever need for our pets."
Abashed, Terry looked at his feet.
"Well then let's all break in and pay for what we take," suggested Dirk Duck. "Then they would get all the money they deserve, and we bring back the booze to Deep Forest!"
This time, the animals silently waited to hear Bird's response.
"But Dirk," said Bird, "how would you feel if you had to close your restaurant, and we all went in there, used your supplies to cook a meal, and then left you money?"
"You filthy animals using my kitchen to cook?!?! That would be disgusting."
"You see," Bird said, addressing them all, "what we need to do is help Bill and Brian help themselves. We need to guide them into the loving, brotherly relationship they used to share! Who is willing to be the mediator between the Buffalo Brothers?"
Ron Rabbit put down what he was doing and said, "I'll do it!"
"Of course, Ron. Here's what I want you to do."
After Ron heard Bird's plan, he set off to the northern part of Deep Forest, where the Buffalo Brothers lived in separate houses. First, Ron hopped and hopped and hopped until he arrived at Bill Buffalo's house. He knocked on the door and waited patiently outside.
"What do you want, rabbit?" growled Bill when he opened the door. He smelled strongly of berry wine and had a burned-out cigarette dangling from his mouth.
"Yeah, whatever," mumbled Bill. "Go for it."
"My first question is: who is your worst enemy in Deep Forest?"
Bill laughed deep and low. "That's easy," he said. "It's my brother, Brian Buffalo."
"Uh-huh, ok," said Ron, writing this down on a legal pad. "And if you were being held at gunpoint and had to say something nice about Brian, what would it be?"
Bill stood thinking for a second, and finally said, "Well, he is a hard worker. He would stay at the store every night as late as it took to count up the till."
"Great! Ok, thanks for answering the questions. I promise your identity will be kept confidential when we report our findings."
Ron turned and began hopping as fast as he could to go to Brian's house. Finally, he arrived on the doorstep, huffing and puffing and ever so tired.
"What do you want, rabbit?" roared Brian when he opened the door. He smelled strongly of cigarettes and had a half-empty bottle of berry wine in his hands.
"Hello, Brian," said Ron, a little uncomfortable. "I am conducting a survey for the new Deep Forest Demographics Department. I was wondering if you have time to answer some questions."
"Yeah, whatever," said Brian. "I got nothing else to do."
Again, Ron asked his questions. As was to be expected, Bill was Brian's worst enemy in Deep Forest. But, when asked the second question, he answered Ron with, "Well, he always knows when I need a hug."
Satisfied, Ron scrambled all the way back to Bill's house. Huffing and puffing even more than before, he knocked on the door.
"Bill!" he said when the door opened. "I just talked to Brian! He was walking to the store. He said that he had enough sitting around and was ready to get back to work. He looked really depressed."
Bill thought for a second, and finally said, "Probably needs a hug. Maybe I ought to go down there and help him out."
Bill headed off in the direction of the store, and Ron ran back to Brian's house.
"Brian!" he panted when Brian opened the door. "I just saw Bill. He said he was inspired by your impeccable work ethic, and was ready to go back and start working the store again! He was on his way down there!"
"Really?" said Brian. "So he thinks I'm a hard worker. Well, maybe I'll go down and help him out."
Rabbit ran off to tell Bird and the others that soon, the Buffalo brothers would be back at the store and have it open for business. The plan had worked! All the animals, so excited that they would finally have their booze back, rushed to the store, ready to stock up on the latest shipment of berry wine. But when they got there, Brian and Bill were standing outside, arguing.
"Well I think YOU need to start working the till at night," yelled Brian. "I've always done it, and I stay up here late while you go get drunk off berry wine and go to the strip club!"
"And I think YOU need to go to therapy," roared Bill. "You're always looking for hugs, always depressed, you're an embarrassment to the Buffalo family!"
"FINE!" sobbed Brian. "You do what you want with the store! I quit, you lazy good-for-nothing jerk!"
"No!" screamed Bill. "I quit! You do what you want with the store, you wimp!"
The Buffalo brothers stormed off in opposite directions. Upset and forlorn, the rest of the animals went back to their homes to spend yet another evening in the nightmarish grip of sobriety.
A few days later, Bill Buffalo was in his backyard by Babbling Brook, fishing, and thinking about what a wimpy brother he had. Just a mile down the bank, Brian Buffalo sat in his backyard, fishing, and thinking about how much his brother could use some sensitivity training.
Suddenly, both of them heard something splash into the water and cry out in terror.
"Oh no--that doesn't sound good," said Bill Buffalo, rising and running in the direction of the screams.
"That doesn't sound good at all!" said Brian Buffalo, who was already running toward the noise.
Right at the same time, Brian and Bill arrived to find the source of the screams: Katherine Kitty had fallen into the water and was drowning.
"I'll get you!" yelled Brian.
"No--I'LL get you!" screamed Bill.
Before the two could start fighting, Bird, who had heard the commotion from his nest in Big Tree, landed on a limb that stretched out across Babbling Brook. "I'm sorry you two," but I think you're going to have to work together this time. You can't either one of you save Katherine by yourself."
"He's right," said Brian.
"Yes," said Bill. "Let's put our differences behind us for the sake of Katherine."
So Brian waded out into the brook and turned around backwards, while Bill held on to him tight. "Katherine!" he yelled. "Bite my tail, as hard as you can. I promise, it won't hurt me." By that time, Brian was already ankle deep in the thick, brown mud at the bottom of Babbling Brook. He couldn't even move his feet.
Once Katherine bit his tail, Brian yelled, "Ok Bill--pull!" Bill pulled as hard as he could and, just when he thought he could pull no more, Brian felt the thick mud start to release its grip on his hooves and said, "That's it! Keep pulling brother!" In a few seconds, Brian and Katherine were both out of harm's way.
"Wonderful!" shouted Bird, as Katherine showered Brian and Bill with kisses, praises, and thank yous. "You guys overcame your problems and saved little Katherine's life. I suppose, though, you'll go back to fighting after this?"
Brian and Bill both looked at each other. "You know, we really should open the store up again," said Bill.
"Yeah, I'm almost out of money anyway," said Brian.
"Sorry I called you a wimp," said Bill.
"Sorry I called you a good-for-nothing jerk," said Brian.
That night, the Buffalo Brother's Boozery opened--for good. And though the brothers argued from time to time, never again in their days did they have an argument they couldn't resolve through rational, civil conversation (and perhaps a bottle or two of berry wine).
The moral of the story is: sometimes, it is extremely difficult to bring to people together. Sometimes, all it takes is a wet pussy.
Hope this gives you some guidance in your matchmaking endeavors,
Uberchief is a closet furry. I just know it.